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Postcards from Penguin: One Hundred Book Covers in One Box Cards – September 15, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

Postcards from Penguin: One Hundred Book Covers in One Box + Postcards From Puffin: 100 Book Covers in One Box + Postcards from The New Yorker: One Hundred Covers from Ten Decades
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Product Details

  • Cards: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Box Pos edition (September 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141044667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141044668
  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 2.6 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description

This is a collection of 100 postcards, each featuring a different and iconic Penguin book jacket. From classics to crime, here are over seventy years of quintessentially British design in one box. In 1935 Allen Lane stood on a platform at Exeter railway station, looking for a good book for the journey to London. His disappointment at the poor range of paperbacks on offer led him to found Penguin Books. The quality paperback had arrived. Declaring that 'good design is no more expensive than bad', Lane was adamant that his Penguin paperbacks should cost no more than a packet of cigarettes, but that they should always look distinctive. Ever since then, from their original - now world-famous - look featuring three bold horizontal stripes, through many different stylish, inventive and iconic cover designs, Penguin's paperback jackets have been a constantly evolving part of Britain's culture. And whether they're for classics, crime, reference or prize-winning novels, they still follow Allen Lane's original design mantra. Sometimes, you definitely should judge a book by its cover.

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Customer Reviews

Cards very well printed, sturdy box.
Vanessa Payne
I love to read and I love to send post cards whenever the desire takes me, so having 100 book cover postcards right at hand is very handy for me.
Josh H. Knight
These are great for lovers of postcards, Penguin books and book design.
liberal sprinkles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Timothy McCormick on February 9, 2011
Format: Cards
I saw "Postcards from Penguin" at a bookstore, and as a longtime reader of Penguin paperbacks, I wanted to like this set; but on closer inspection, I found it to be strikingly... monotonous.

The book description promises "100 postcards, each featuring a different and iconic Penguin book jacket," but this is not borne out by looking closer. In fact, a very large portion of all covers are nearly the same, a few basic templates with just the title & author names changed. In this dreary expanse, you thrill to see any graphic element, *anything* that departs from the template. I find it puzzling, actually, that the publishers could put together such a large collection with so *little* visual interest. I had the feeling that if I bought this set, I'd end up discarding half or two-thirds of the cards, because they wouldn't be interesting enough to send to anyone nor keep for myself.

The Penguin design schemes excelled (excel?) at separating the Penguin line from contemporaneous paperbacks, and at unifying all titles in its line, but lined up, many of them look exactly the same. I'd say, pass on this postcard set, unless you have particular nostalgia for certain covers, or perhaps you are playing witty games with your friends by sending them cards with insinuating book titles. Or, you might be thinking Pop Art, wishing to frame a grid of the cards, all the same except for the small change in title -- like Andy Warhol's Campbell soup cans. That could work.

If you look at surveys of Penguin's design, such as Phil Baines' "Penguin by Design: A Cover Story 1935-2005", you see that Penguin's design work was rather more diverse and creative than shown in these cards, which seem to largely reproduce Penguin covers from the 1940s' and 50's.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By L. Prestoza on November 6, 2010
Format: Cards Verified Purchase
Most of the book covers printed in these postcards are vintage covers. Some of the covers are plain while others are downright bizarre. I don't get why Penguin back in the days chose book covers that do not relate to the story whatsoever but one of my theories is that they just wanted to confound their readers enough so they would buy their copies again and again. The titles range from the mundane such as "Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps" by Claude Goodchild to the iconic "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess.

This product would definitely appeal to bibliophiles and book cover aficionados. The postcards showcase the evolution of Penguin styles. It's pretty interesting to see the penguin in every Penguin book change in appearance over the years.

I'm a member of a site that sends postcards around the world, so if you send postcards as a hobby, this product is for you. It's way cheaper than buying postcard books.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy on September 27, 2010
Format: Cards
Some of my fondest memories are of time spent haunting used bookstores searching for good reads. One thing that always drew my attention was the distinctive covers of Penguin books; I always knew they would be good books at a great price. This collection states: "In 1935 Allen Lane stood on a platform at Exeter railway station, looking for a good book for the journey to London. His disappointment at the poor range of paperbacks on offer led him to found Penguin Books. The quality paperback had arrived."

Declaring that 'good design is no more expensive than bad', Lane was adamant that his Penguin paperbacks should cost no more than a packet of cigarettes, but that they should always look distinctive. Those distinctive covers are known around the world. This collection was walking through a history of my own love of books. I had read 27 of the 100 books in this collection and 23 of them with these covers. It is a wonderful collection for any booklover.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cailny on October 16, 2010
Format: Cards Verified Purchase
I just love these and for the amazon price, they are a total steal. You're getting a ton of postcards of book covers here and although they are simple, they are awesome. Some are kind of plain, while some have more illustrated covers but there are some really famous titles in here as well as some funny ones. Very cute and chic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amy McLawhorn on June 17, 2014
Format: Cards Verified Purchase
I purchased these to use in a unique display on my high school classroom bulletin board. I went through all 100 postcards and could MAYBE use 6 or 7 of these as classics that are taught in HS English. The titles by famous authors are strange - not their most famous works. I will be returning these and would not recommend them if you are hoping for a good assortment of classics.
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The postcards themselves were good quality (I hung them all on a wall as art), but I wish that the designs themselves were of less obscure books. Not all of the postcards have the three stripe design, but most of them do. It only includes a small amount of more popular books (The Catcher in the Rye, As You Like it, The Odyssey, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby), but the ones listed were the only books that I actually recognized. I knew this was what I was getting from other reviews, though, and am still very happy with my purchase!

The only reason I didn't give five stars was due to the fact that I wanted more of the three stripe design covers than were in the box.
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Format: Cards Verified Purchase
I bought this boxed set for a friend studying the history of paperbacks. It is a wonderful treat, containing a wide variety of covers covering several decades of Penguin paperbacks and a satisfying, instructive variety of cover-design styles. The box is solid and has a satisfying feel and the postcards are printed very nicely--they really capture the feel of the originals. I still can't quite believe that Penguin actually produced this set, since it seems like something that would appeal to a very small audience--lucky for me and my friend!
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